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"Appeal for Kosovo"


Protocol No. 732/361

His Excellency

Mr Tony Blair

Prime Minister of Great Britain,

10 Downing Str.,London


It is with deep dismay and grave concern that we have learned, through our Beloved Brother in Christ, Patriarch Pavle of Serbia, that since the time of arrival of the KFOR peace-keeping troops in Kosovo and Metohija Albanian extremists have damaged and totally destroyed more than eighty Orthodox churches and monasteries in the region, some of which were historical and cultural monuments dating back to the Middle Ages.

None of the perpetrators against these crimes has as yet been brought to justice or punished. Complaints to KFOR have fallen on indifferent ears. Their only response has been to tell the Orthodox Christians to remove the ruins of the churches and monasteries, for otherwise this will be done by the Albanians. One cannot but condemn such a stance by those entrusted with keeping the peace and protecting the people of Kosovo from violence and destruction. Not only do they not protect places of worship and cultural monuments, which belong to the world at large, but even seek to eradicate every trace of them. They are even open to such preposterous claims by self-styled Albanian “scholars” that the Cathedral Church of the Mother of God in Prizren (built on the foundations of an ever more ancient basilica dating from the 10th century), reconstructed in the beginning of the 13th century by King Stephen of Serbia and the historical Monastery of the Holy Archangels, built on earlier Church ruins, by Emperor Dusan of Serbia in 1344-52 were Muslim houses of worship!

Nor has the evil perpetrated been limited to buildings and properties. Far from it. Since KFOR’s arrival hundreds of Christian Serbs have been killed and thousands have been displaced. More than 400 have been killed, more than 600 kidnapped and more than 20,000 have been forced to flee.

In the face of such a situation, we feel it our obligation and Christian duty, as Archbishop of Athens and All Greece and as President of the Holy Synod, to appeal to you and to all International Organizations, to Heads of State and Leaders of Christian Churches and to all men of good will to intervene for the rectification of an unacceptable situation. We ask that you exert your influence for the provision of adequate protection for the people and the shrines of Kosovo and that you do everything in your power for the prevailing of peace, justice and tolerance throughout the region.

Confident that you will respond to this just appeal we ask that you accept our heartfelt best wishes and sincere sentiments of high esteem and deep regard.

+ C H R I S T O D O U L O S


The Chief- Secretary

+ Archimandrite Theologos Apostolides

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